How do I modify the Active Directory's garbage-collection period?

A. The Active Directory (AD) garbage-collection process performs two vital functions. First, it cleans up deleted objects. When you delete an object in AD, the system doesn't immediately delete the object because when replication occurs, a replication partner would recreate the object. Instead, the system uses a tombstone with a finite lifetime to mark the object as deleted. The tombstone replicates to all domain controllers (DCs), and after it expires, the garbage-collection agent deletes the object.

The garbage-collection process also performs online AD defragementation.

By default this process runs every 12 hours on each DC. However, you can change this frequency by modifying the attribute garbageCollPeriod under the path CN=Directory Service,CN=Windows NT,CN=Services,CN=Configuration,DC=,DC=,DC=COM. The best way to modify the attribute is to use the Windows 2000 Support Tools' ldp.exe utility.

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